The first building on the site of Selly Oak Hospital was the old King’s Norton Union Workhouse which was built in around 1872 to consolidate existing services for 5 separate parishes. Originally the Hospital was built to accommodate 200 pauper inmates. In 1897 a separate infirmary opened at the site at a cost of £52,000 and was designed by Mr. Daniel Arkell. This infirmary was made to accommodate a further 250 patients and had basic facilities to cater for maternity care but there were no operating theatres or a mortuary at this point.
In 1907 the Hospital doubled in size again with further additional buildings being added due to rising populations within the workhouse and increased demand placed upon the infirmary. Over the next two decades facilities further improved with the addition of an operating theatre, plastering of internal walls, and the introduction of physiotherapy, pathological and X-ray services.
The Hospital continued to grow with 1931-1936 saw the addition of yet more operating theatres, pathology and biochemistry laboratories and the mortuary.
When the NHS was formed the site became known as a whole as Selly Oak Hospital until its final closure in 2012. The reason for the hospital closure was due to the completion of a new Q.E.Hospital which is much larger and offers many more modern facilities. Since 2012 the hospital buildings have stood empty and are in an increasingly derelict state. The abandoned site has seen most of its contents removed and some damage due to metal thieves which temporarily set up camp on the site.
In terms of the future of this location, planning permission has been provisionally granted for the construction of 650 homes on the site which means the hospital buildings will most likely be demolished. I am not aware that any works have started on the site at the date of posting this report.
Visited with spidermonkey and Andy de Kay of Behind Closed Doors. Those two had previously done other parts of the hospital but not managed to locate the morgue and find the access point so We decided to have another look and see if we could pin down where the mortuary was. Fortunately Andy managed to spot the place based on looking at some internal pictures someone else had posted which gave us a couple of clues and after several minute checking the place we found our way inside…
I’d already seen pictures of this morgue popping up and was quite keen to check it out. St Peters Mortuary aka Morgue P had always been a favourite of mine and this one was similar in some respects with the 3 metal slabs but lacking the same level of decay. There was something quite appealing about the polished metal slabs and I was pretty pleased with the set up and how the shots came out :). As well as the obvious slabs there were ample number of body fridges, a small chapel (which I did not find inspiring enough to shoot) and some laboratories upstairs. The labs had a pretty cool feel to them with some peeling paint and bits of decay starting to set in, it’s shocking really to see how quickly these places decline once they become abandoned. I hope you enjoy the photos:
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Enjoyed this report? then check out the one from Behind Closed Doors: Selly Oak Mortuary
Limited Edition and Canvas prints, as well as regular prints, are available for all of the images above just ask me about prices.